Words: James Frostick
Band image: Dylan Jeffreys
Cover art: Fred Gooch
Meanjin/Brisbane-based crew Mark’s Paranormal Dysneyland is gearing up to release a new cassette via Eternal Soundcheck, dropping a clip today for visceral track ‘My Depression’. Unflinching and uncomfortable, ‘My Depression’ peels back the facade of abject misery, including listeners in the journey to pass through the dark core in hopes of breaking through on the other side.
It’s hard to discuss another person’s grief, given that it is inherently one of the most personal emotional experiences a person can endure. Everyone’s form of dealing with grief is different, the only common thread being that it is fucking difficult. For Mark Spinks (GRAVEL SAMWIDGE) being transparent about the process and what he’s going through seems to be a key coping mechanism. Mark’s Paranormal Dysneyland is Mark’s solo outlet, which he formed after the tragic passing of his partner Caroline Milne, who performed with Mark in 2 Chevrons. This fact is communicated from the outset (it’s mentioned on MPD’s Facebook page), should give some indicator of the potential weight attributed to the songs, which might not explicitly deal with the aftermath of such loss, but is understandably coloured by the emotional toll of grappling with the heft. MPD’s debut album is being released this month and to mark the occasion lead single ‘My Depression’ has been given a visual treatment with the help of Thomas Oliver and Fausto Vergara of Light Tight Productions.
‘My Depression’ is a rough-hewn and direct number, a piece of dusty stomp fashioned utilising a sparse palette of sounds. At its core is Mark’s guitar – a scruffy strum tinged with blues (stylistically and emotionally), backed up by shambling percussion that evokes downcast pavement plodding (one foot in front of the other). I catch shades of similarly afflicted Kitchen’s Floor’s threadbare distress (minus the pots and pans percussion) – a warped kind of Australiana-laced punk that seems perfectly suited to communicating personal hardship. Like Kitchen’s Floor, MPD is similarly unflinching in its lyrical expression, (the core refrain “My depression, is taking its toll” speaks volumes) putting plainly the taxing effort of maintaining day-to-day normalcy. The clip does a wonderful job of communicating this simply but effectively. Close-up shots of Mark’s face show the worry lines etched into his skin, while visual passages depict him hauling a dark mass up a hill. The climax reveals the hidden mania that churns his insides, his exterior poise hanging by a thread. It’s an unnerving watch at times, but it’s an on-point depiction of the laborious effort that is keeping one’s shit together. Hopefully this outlet soothes the grief and strife. If anything, this shows that grief is universal and is, at its core, something that doesn’t need to be experienced alone. Watch ‘My Depression’ here:
Mark’s Paranormal Dysneyland’s self-titled debut album will land soon via Eternal Soundcheck. Keep your eyes peeled for its arrival later this month.